Visa has a won a long-running battle over interchange fees against supermarket giant Sainsbury’s in London High Court. However, the case is far from over as the supermarket giant is planning to challenge the verdict.
The court in its ruling said that the credit card company did not set its interchange fees at an unlawful level as claimed by Sainsbury’s.
In the lawsuit, the supermarket operator alleged that Visa unfairly fixed domestic and cross-border interchange fees.
Seeking damages for losses, Sainsbury’s claimed that Visa’s interchange fees breached UK and EU competition laws. These fees are collected from retailers each time a credit or debit card payment is processed.
The London High Court found said that the fees paid are lawful, and Sainsbury’s claim “fails in its entirety”.
Welcoming the court decision, Visa said: “We hope the Court’s decision will accelerate the collaboration between retailers and Visa and will allow us to address the greatest disruption – and potentially the greatest opportunity – facing the merchant community in Europe today: the digitisation of commerce.”
The ruling comes in the wake of a series of long running legal tussles between retailers and card firms after the European Commission (EC) probed processing fees.